Expat accommodation is one of the major real estate activities happening throughout Dubai. The market might have been facing a temporary slowdown during the market crash in 2008, however, it has started to slowly rebound. The prices are stabilizing and proven to be good news to expats who planned on moving to Dubai.
The idea of living luxuriously in a Middle Eastern Villa and all its beautiful accompaniment is sometime taken too lightly. That kind of accommodation is not just very expensive, it is also in very high demands hence not easily available. Buying or renting in Dubai require you to reset your priorities and reconsider some factors and the aspect of grandeur does not necessarily means a good way of living.
When an expats are relocated from overseas, their contract might have already include accommodation prepared by the employer. Should you prefer to look on your own, you will need to request for the housing allowance from your employer.
Types of accommodation in Dubai
Accommodation can generally be classified as furnished or unfurnished. The latter being less expensive that the former. As for the style of housing, there are 3 general types:
- Apartments – No garden but might have a balcony.
- Townhouses – Maybe Duplex or triplex and a miniature garden
- Villas – Bungalow usually with garden and courtyard.
It goes without saying that there are areas in Dubai that is more expensive than the other on top of the housing types, especially New Dubai.
Finding accommodation in Dubai
It is fairly easy to find an accommodation by engaging your own real estate agent in Dubai. Alternatively, driving throughout Dubai you may also encounter “To Let” signs almost everywhere.
One important thing to look out for when engaging a Real Estate Agent would be to ensure the individual is registered with Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA). This will minimize any unwanted risk and unnecessary red tape. There are cases where an unsuspecting expatriate was hustled by an illegitimate agent.
Alternative to Dubai, some expatriates have instead shifted to staying at Emirates of Sharjah, which have considerably more affordable accommodation as a trade of having to commute to work.
Signing a lease in Dubai
Renting an apartment in Dubai to Expats would usually require the expats to hold a residence visa. Landlord would request 3 documents before signing the lease, they are residence visa, passport, and proof of income.
It is common for landlords in Dubai to ask for an entire year of rent to be paid up front, together with the security deposit. Should this be something acceptable, the expats could also use this to leverage a better rental rate.
Signing a lease for Dubai accommodation is not a straight forward agreement, extra attention need to be paid to any additional charges s which could involves but not limited to general upkeep, the garden, building, and utilities. This additional charges should be factored into your monthly budget and not to forget the real estate agent fees. Which is the tenant’s responsibility.
Tenants should also seek to get a renewable lease to save time having to spend more time on an accommodation hunt every 12 months.
Factors to consider when house-hunting in Dubai
Being in a metropolitan like Dubai have its own pros and cons. Expats planning on living in Dubai would need to set their priorities. Speaking to other expats about their experience living in Dubai would be a valuable insight. Some of the factors to consider are:
- Time required to travel to back and fro from to the workplace and school for expats with school-aged children
- Traffic and noise level of the surrounding areas
- Location of shops and restaurant that you plan on frequenting
- Some expats would appreciate having a good expats community
Seeing how Dubai have been one of the fastest-growing Metropolitan in the world, there are some development that is still being finished, mostly are the planned facilities, the pools and parks. The prices of these real estates would be reduced to reflect it however, expats would have to live with the inconvenience in the short-term.